Stanford Invite 2024: How to Watch, Tournament Preview

The Stanford Invite women’s division tournament remains one of college ultimate’s greatest showcases

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While the quality of the field in the men’s division side of the tournament has dipped in recent years, the Stanford Invite women’s division tournament remains one of college ultimate’s greatest showcases. The 2024 edition will see 10 of the top-15 teams in our power rankings try to assert or reassert themselves against each other and their own internal expectations. It’s going to be part melee, part proving ground, part exhibition of some of the silkiest ultimate we’ll see before Nationals. Let’s dive right in.

Tournament Profile

  • Date: March 2-3
  • Location: Stevinson, CA
  • Weather: Mid- 50s, with 5-15 mph winds, and likely rain on Saturday
  • Top 25 teams: 12 women’s division; 3 men’s division
  • Schedules & Results
  • Event Page

Streaming Schedule

All Ultiworld Standard and All-Access subscribers will have access to watch the live broadcasts from this year’s Stanford Invite, where we will have two games in each broadcasting round.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are PT.

Saturday, February 24

9:00 AM: Washington vs. Victoria [W Showcase] | UC San Diego vs. UCLA [W]
10:30 AM: Colorado vs. UC Santa Cruz [W Showcase] | Stanford vs. W. Washington [M]
12:00 PM: Vermont vs. UC Santa Barbara [W Showcase] | Vanderbilt vs. Santa Clara [M]
3:00 PM: Prequarters [W Showcase] | Prequarters [M]

Sunday, February 25

8:00 AM: Quarterfinal TBD [W Showcase] | Quarterfinal TBD [W]
9:30 AM: Semifinal TBD [W Showcase] | Semifinal TBD [W]
11:00 AM: Final TBD [W Showcase] | Semifinal TBD [M]
12:30 PM: Final TBD [M Showcase] | Third Place Final TBD [M]

UBC Thunderbird’s Madison Ong against Washington Element at the 2023 Stanford Invite. Photo: Rodney Chen – UltiPhotos.com

Tournament Preview (Women’s Div.)

Can the Thunderbirds Rule the Roost?

Top of the board, top of mind, and, in the absence of #1 UNC Pleiades, top-seeded: #2 UBC Thunderbirds have the clear edge heading into the weekend. Stanford Invite has traditionally been the season’s starting line for UBC. This year, however, they made a maiden voyage to the Golden State for January’s Santa Barbara Invite, unleashing an attack that flattened most of the competition and was good enough to win close ones in the bracket over #4 Oregon Fugue and #3 Carleton Syzygy1 – a pair of victories that look even better now than they did at the time. Not only have last season’s national semifinalists taken a massive head start timing-wise, but they’ve also been (again, with Pleiades) the division’s top performing team even without star Mika Kurahashi. At full strength, there’s no telling what they might be capable of.

The path to a second tournament victory will be anything but easy, however. UBC will likely have to get past #6 Vermont Ruckus or #5 Stanford Superfly2 to keep their current position as championship-hopefuls-in-waiting. Stanford have an arsenal full of every conceivable weapon, including Esther Filipek, one of the most dynamic offensive players in the country. They’re no paper tigers either. They’ve been playing well and winning games, falling a single point shy of a victory at the prestigious Presidents’ Day Invite. Vermont weren’t quite so sharp in their first outing, struggling in a loss to Carleton at Queen City Tune Up, but they appeared to be governing themselves for a delayed release of the full-bore Ruckus effect. We’ll see if they open the valve all the way at SI.

 

A Quandary

#10 Colorado Quandary did not have to go undefeated to win Presidents’ Day Invite to have a successful season debut; that was never the measure. And that won’t be the measure at Stanford Invite either. They do, however, need to avoid getting completely outclassed by other contenders (see: their game against Oregon at PDI) or bumped out of the bracket prematurely (see: their game against #8 UC Santa Barbara Burning Skirts at PDI) to fit in once again among the division’s upper crust, a position they claimed with two consecutive appearances in the national final. It’s possible that the fits and starts that hampered them two weeks ago will prove to have been nothing more than a shaking off of rust. Goodness knows they have the talent and the institutional knowledge to set themselves right and forget all about their recent woes. If they don’t, it may be time to reassess the team’s prospects.

 

Consisten-C Versus the Empire

Consisten-C, as in, will any of the various UC schools turn in a complete weekend? UCSB have hit the highest heights, but they’ve hardly been a sure thing. #14 UC San Diego Dragon Coalition’s resume looks more like a gif of a yo-yo than a win-loss sheet. #13 UC Santa Cruz Sol made a splashy debut at SBI and are definitely worth watching – should we count on it to continue? #24 UC Davis Rogue and #25 UCLA BLU haven’t done anything remarkable yet and are looking to change that this weekend. Any or all of them could go on a hot run, yank the bottom of the bid picture higher for the Southwest region, and establish themselves firmly in the national pecking order.

If they falter, though, it will likely be at the hands of the three non-UBC Northwest region teams: #7 Washington Element, #11 BYU CHI, and #12 Victoria Vikes, all of whom are (unofficially) in bid-earning position heading into the weekend – three of the Northwest’s five such teams.3 That’s a hefty bounty that they’ll want to keep to themselves. With plenty of stars between them – think Washington’s Sophia Palmer, BYU’s Kate Barry, or UVic’s Alicia Brolly – they are well-armored against an uprising from the Southwest contingent. Seeing how the bid battle plays out between these two groups will be extra relish on an already scrumptious weekend of ultimate.


  1. neither of whom will take the field at Stanford Invite 

  2. their seeds at the tournament are inverted from our rankings 

  3. The aforementioend UBC and Oregon are the other two. 

  1. Jenna Weiner
    Jenna Weiner

    Jenna Weiner is a Senior Staff Writer, a co-host of Ultiworld's Double Overtime podcast, and considers herself a purveyor of all levels of ultimate. She's played mostly on the west coast but you're likely to find her at the nearest ultimate game available.

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